Taxes for the Common Good

By Citizens for Public Justice

Taxes for the Common Good: A Public Justice Primer on Taxation

Fact Sheet Series
May 2015

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The debate about the role of taxes in Canada today is sorely lacking.

Taxes are not simply about money or fees collected by governments. Taxes are equally about public programs and services, reducing poverty and the harmful effects of inequality, and protecting the environment. Taxes are about building the kind of Canada we want.

Different governments have promoted lower taxes as the solution to all ills. In the face of falling revenues, these same governments now say that our most basic programs are unsustainable, that further tax cuts are needed, and that there is public ‘fat’ to cut and greedy public servants to rein in.

As a result of a relentless assault on the value of public programs over the past 30 years, taxation has come to be viewed as a burden rather than a tool for promoting the common good. It seems that few are asking what is the real cost of tax cuts or who pays the price.

“Taxes for the Common Good” is a series of six fact sheets highlighting the positive role taxes play in a democratic society and summarizing up-to-date information on the costs and opportunities afforded by various federal tax policy options.

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